By Kristen Ford, Program Manager for Farmer Veteran Coalition

Relatively few range or pasture land projects are producing marketable greenhouse gas (GHG) credits, and producer awareness of environmental markets is extremely low. Through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG), Farmer Veteran Coalition, a national nonprofit organization that assists military veterans embarking on careers in agriculture, is working with Terra Global Capital to engage farmers and ranchers from the very beginning of the protocol development so that data collection and monitoring requirements are attainable for those on the ground.

Terra’s CIG will engage farmers and ranchers in implementing NRCS practices from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in six Western States including California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Hawaii and Colorado. The CIG will leverage and build upon existing NRCS Climate-Smart Practices to create access to GHG markets and stacked credits such as water quality and other conservation banking.

In addition, Terra is working to create links between conservation practices, GHG and environmental credit markets, and consumer-branded range and pasture land products such as beef and wool, and a credible set of metrics for investors in range and pasture lands to promote the sustainability of their practices to impact investors.

In partnership with Terra Global, Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), California Rangeland Trust, and the Carbon Cycle Institute, Farmer Veteran Coalition is helping to strategize the best way to engage a diverse group of range and pasture land managers with special attention given to veterans and historically underserved groups.

Have you participated in environmental markets in the past? What do you think are the most important considerations when developing markets like this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

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